German and Norwegian: Crucial Aspects of Translation

Anyone who requires translation between German and Norwegian, will often be asked how these two languages differ. Although they share Germanic roots, so their vocabularies have similar origins, it is worth highlighting some of the key differences which are crucial to translation.

  • Verbs

In German verbs are conjugated according to their person and number, meaning that anyone learning German must learn how verbs change in the first, second, and third person, both when singular and plural. However, Norwegian verbs are not affected by person or number, so tend to change for different tenses and very few other instances. Therefore, pronouns become more important in Norwegian to show who is carrying out an action and they merit close attention during translation of a text from Norwegian to German.

  • Dialects

Despite being the same basic language, the German used in Austria is vastly different to the traditional German used in Germany itself, which most non-native speakers would have initially learnt, so they may have problems when they first encounter the Austrian variations. There is a similar case with Norwegian though within one country, Norway. There are four variations with two officially recognised as main dialects; Bokmål generally used in the North and East, and Nynorsk popular in the West. Most written documents are likely to use Bokmål, but it is crucial to check to avoid possible errors or confusion and you should do similarly for German texts.

  • Cases

German uses a number of different cases to give more information about a noun and its role in the sentence, the nominative, accusative, dative and genitive cases are all commonly used. Norwegian differs in that the dative case has effectively disappeared from the language, so sentences including the dative case will have to be adapted when translating a German text into Norwegian.

Now that you have read about the crucial aspects of translation between from German to Norwegian, and vice versa, why not take a look at some of our articles on the issues of translation between other pairs of languages.

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